Maxtor has released the specifications for its Ultra ATA 133 hard-drive interface.

The new spec boosts data-transfer rates between computer and hard drive by up to 133MB per second. This is one-third again faster than Ultra ATA/100 – the technology used in most computers. Apple implements Ultra ATA in its G4 PowerMacs.

Vic Jipson, executive vice president of engineering for Maxtor, said: "The Ultra ATA interface has been one of the computer industry's most important achievements and can be found on 90 per cent of systems equipped with hard drives, CD-ROMs, and DVDs."

Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA) defines the connection and interface speed between hard drive and computer. As faster hard-drives ship, this interface speed must also increase, to avoid data bottlenecks.

The Ultra ATA/133 interface uses Maxtor-patented technology previously used in Ultra ATA/66 and Ultra ATA/100 interfaces. It's backward compatible with the existing ATA standard.

Maxtor says that products incorporating the new technology will begin to ship "in the second half of 2001", with widespread adoption "beginning in 2002". Apple would not disclose any plans to implement the standard in its products.